Phronema

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Phronema is a transliteration of the Greek word φρόνημα, which has the meanings of "mind", "spirit", "thought", "purpose", "will", and can have either a positive meaning ("high spirit", "resolution", "pride") or a bad sense ("presumption", "arrogance"). [1]

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In the New Testament, the word is used four times in the Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans: twice with "τῆς σαρκός" (of the flesh) and twice with "τοῦ πνεύματος" (of the spirit): "for the mind of the flesh [is] death, and the mind of the Spirit – life and peace; because the mind of the flesh [is] enmity to God ...and He who is searching the hearts hath known what [is] the mind of the Spirit" (Romans 8:6-7,27). [2]

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The New Testament has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are incorporated into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced religious, philosophical, and political movements in Christendom and left an indelible mark on literature, art, and music.

Eastern Orthodox theology

The term phronema is used in Eastern Orthodox theology to one particular mindset or outlook – the Orthodox mind. [3] The attaining of phronema in this sense is a matter of practicing the correct faith (orthodoxia) in the correct manner (orthopraxis). Attaining phronema is regarded as the first step toward theosis , the state of glorification.

Phronema is also the name of the official annual review of St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney, Australia. It presents articles and book reviews from Orthodox and non-Orthodox on topics with central reference to theology, Church history and Orthodoxy. [4]

St Andrews Greek Orthodox Theological College Eastern Orthodox Christian seminary in Sydney, Australia

St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College is an Eastern Orthodox Christian seminary located in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. It is a full-member institution of the Sydney College of Divinity, a federation of theological educational institutions each operated by different Christian denominations. It is the only accredited Eastern Orthodox tertiary institution of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It is an institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

Use by John Henry Newman

The term was used in by John Henry Newman in an article published in 1859 under the title "On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine". He said that the consensus of the faithful is to be regarded as "a sort of instinct, or phronēma, deep in the bosom of the mystical body of Christ". [5]

John Henry Newman English cleric and cardinal

John Henry Newman, was a theologian and poet, first an Anglican priest and later a Catholic priest and cardinal, who was an important and controversial figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. He was known nationally by the mid-1830s.

Use by Ernst Haeckel

The term was used in by Ernst Haeckel in his book The Wonders of Life [6] where (p. 342) the phronema is the name given to a part of the cortex, as “the real organ of mind”.

Ernst Haeckel German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, and artist

Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel was a German zoologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including ecology, phylum, phylogeny, and Protista. Haeckel promoted and popularised Charles Darwin's work in Germany and developed the influential but no longer widely held recapitulation theory claiming that an individual organism's biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarises its species' evolutionary development, or phylogeny.

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Hesychasm Contemplative prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church

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Praxis (Byzantine Rite)

Praxis, a transliteration of the Greek word πρᾶξις, means "practice, action, doing". More particularly, it means either:

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  2. habitual or established practice; custom.

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky was an Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, historian and ecumenist. Born in Odessa, in the Russian Empire, he spent his working life in Paris (1920–1949) and New York (1949–1979). With Sergei Bulgakov, Vladimir Lossky, Justin Popović and Dumitru Stăniloae he was one of the more influential Orthodox Christian theologians of the mid-20th century. He was particularly concerned that modern Christian theology might receive inspiration from the lively intellectual debates of the patristic traditions of the undivided Church rather than from later Scholastic or Reformation categories of thought.

The infallibility of the Church is the belief that the Holy Spirit preserves the Christian Church from errors that would contradict its essential doctrines. It is related to, but not the same as, indefectible, that is, "she remains and will remain the Institution of Salvation, founded by Christ, until the end of the world." The doctrine of infallibility is premised on the authority Jesus granted to the apostles to "bind and loose" and particularly the promises to Peter in regard to papal infallibility.

Sacred tradition, or holy tradition, is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily those claiming apostolic succession, such as the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, and Anglican traditions, to refer to the foundation of the doctrinal and spiritual authority of the Christian Church and of the Bible.

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Sacred mysteries

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  1. Religious beliefs, rituals or practices which are kept secret from non-believers, or lower levels of believers, who have not had an initiation into the higher levels of belief.
  2. Beliefs of the religion which are public knowledge but cannot be easily explained by normal rational or scientific means.
Vladimir Lossky 20th-century Russian theologian and writer

Vladimir Nikolayevich Lossky was an Eastern Orthodox theologian in exile from Russia. He emphasized theosis as the main principle of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Eastern Orthodox theology Eastern Orthodox theological views

Eastern Orthodox theology is the theology particular to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is characterized by monotheistic Trinitarianism, belief in the Incarnation of the essentially divine Logos or only-begotten Son of God, a balancing of cataphatic theology with apophatic theology, a hermeneutic defined by a polyvalent Sacred Tradition, a concretely catholic ecclesiology, a robust theology of the person, and a principally recapitulative and therapeutic soteriology.

Tabor Light theological doctrine

In Eastern Orthodox Christian theology, the Tabor Light is the light revealed on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration of Jesus, identified with the light seen by Paul at his conversion.

Palamism theological teachings of Gregory Palamas

Palamism or the Palamite theology comprises the teachings of Gregory Palamas (c.1296–1359), whose writings defended the Orthodox notion of Hesychasm against the attack of Barlaam. Followers of Palamas are sometimes referred to as Palamites.

Sensus fidei, also called sensus fidelium is, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "the supernatural appreciation of faith on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals." Quoting the document Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism adds: "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority,... receives... the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. ...The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life." The foundation of this can be found in Jesus' saying in Mt 16:18 that "the gates of Hell will not prevail against it," where "it" refers to the "Church", that is, the Lord's people that carries forward the living tradition of essential beliefs throughout history, with the Bishops overseeing that this tradition does not pursue the way of error.

Theological differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church

The Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another since the East–West Schism of 1054. This schism was caused by historical and linguistic developments, and the ensuing theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches.

Christian contemplation contemplation in theology

Christian contemplation, from contemplatio, refers to several Christian practices which aim at "looking at", "gazing at", "being aware of" God or the Divine. It includes several practices and theological concepts, and until the sixth century the practice of what is now called mysticism was referred to by the term contemplatio, c.q. theoria.

<i>Theosis</i> (Eastern Christian theology)

Theosis, or divinization, is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God, as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis and theoria. According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy between human activity and God's uncreated energies.

History of Eastern Orthodox theology

The history of Eastern Orthodox Christian theology begins with the life of Jesus and the forming of the Christian Church. Major events include the Chalcedonian schism with the Oriental Orthodox miaphysites, the Iconoclast controversy, the Photian schism, the Great Schism between East and West, and the Hesychast controversy. The period after the Second World War saw a re-engagement with the Greek, and more recently Syriac, Fathers that included a rediscovery of the theological works of St. Gregory Palamas, which has resulted in a renewal of Orthodox theology in the 20th and 21st centuries.

History of Eastern Orthodox theology in the 20th century

20th century Eastern Orthodox theology has been dominated by neo-Palamism, the revival of St. Palamas and hesychasm. John Behr characterizes Orthodox theology as having been "reborn in the twentieth century." Norman Russell describes Orthodox theology as having been dominated by an "arid scholasticism" for several centuries after the fall of Constantinople. Russell describes the postwar re-engagement of modern Greek theologians with the Greek Fathers, which occurred with the help of diaspora theologians and Western patristic scholars. A significant component of this re-engagement with the Greek Fathers has been a rediscovery of Palamas by Greek theologians; Palamas had previously been given less attention than the other Fathers.

Holy Spirit (Christian denominational variations)

Christian denominations have variations in their teachings regarding the Holy Spirit.

References

  1. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon: φρόνημα
  2. Romans 8:6-27
  3. The appeal to Tradition was actually an appeal to the mind of the Church, her phronema. It was a method to discover and ascertain the faith as it had been always held, from the very beginning: semper creditum. The permanence of Christian belief was the most conspicuous sign and token of its truth: no innovations [For further discussion of this topic see my articles: "The Function of Tradition in the Ancient Church," The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, IX (No. 2, 1964), 181-200, and "Scripture and Tradition: An Orthodox point of view," Dialog, II (No. 4, 1963), 288-293. Cf. also "Revelation and Interpretation," in: Biblical Authority for Today, edited by Alan Richardson and W. Schweitzer (London and Philadelphia, 1951), pp. 163-180]. On Church and Tradition. An Eastern Orthodox View by Archpriest George Florovsky (1893-1979)
  4. Phronema, volume 23, 2008
  5. John Henry Newman, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine (Rambler, July 1859)
  6. Ernst Haeckel, The Wonders of Life: A Popular Study of Biological Philosophy (London, 1904, Watts & Co.)